Programming Tutorials

Excellent Free Tutorials to Learn Fortran

Fortran (Formula translation) is a multi-paradigm programming language invented by John Backus of IBM in the 1950s. It is particularly notable for innovation; it was the first high-level language, using the first compiler.

The language is designed to be simple to understand, yet retains the efficiency in execution as assembly language – about 80% as efficient as assembly/machine code. Fortran is machine independent, and a problem oriented language. It is often used in the scientific community, particularly among physicists, and is designed for scientific numerical computing. Fortran allows for high parallelization, it’s easy to optimize, and lends itself particularly well to computationally intensive fields such as finite element analysis, numerical weather prediction, computational physics, computational chemistry, and computational fluid dynamics.

Fortran has evolved over time, with various standards including Fortran IV, Fortran 77, Fortran 90 and Fortran 95. More recent revisions are Fortran 2003, and Fortran 2008. Since Fortran 9x, it has many structured programming features, dynamic memory, operator overloading, and primitive objects. It is both the language of the past, the current, and the future (high-performance computing is unlikely to cast aside Fortran). Despite its age, Fortran is still very much alive and kicking. Fortran has a vast number of libraries of code.

Here’s our recommended tutorials to learn Fortran. If you’re looking for free Fortran programming books, check here.


1. Lecture Notes: Introduction to Fortran 95 and Numerical Computing – A Jump-Start for Scientists and Engineers by Adrian Sandu

A collection of useful lecture notes.

Read the tutorial


2. Programming in Fortran 95 by Dr. Rachael Padman

This handout was originally prepared by Dr. Paul Alexander, and has been updated and maintained by Dr Peter Haynes of the TCM group.

Read the guide


3. Introduction to Modern Fortran by Nick Maclaren

This is a basic introduction to modern Fortran. At the end of the course, students should be able to write significant programs in Fortran, and to be able to start working on existing programs written in modern Fortran (i.e. in the Fortran 90/95 style). It does not cover obsolete features of Fortran, some of the more advanced aspects, or most of the extensions introduced by Fortran 2003.

Read the course


All tutorials in this series:

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